Sunday, March 26, 2017

Golden State Warriors Home Stretch

Okay, I'm guilty this time of posting Warriors information from another site. Thanks KSRO for providing a Warriors game breakdown that coincides with my own analysis of what I saw tonight. Great win Warriors!

Warriors Drop Memphis in Playoff Style Game

By Cole Reece| March 26th

Tonight the Golden State Warriors began a stretch of 5 games in a row against playoff caliber teams. The Grizzlies had been a thorn in the side of the Dubs all season long. Memphis has played the Warriors tough and tonight’s contest was no different. In the 1st quarter, the Grizz slowed the game to a crawl and frustrated the Dubs. Andre Iguodala came off the bench and absolutely changed the complexion of the game. He added instant offense and brought energy and tempo back to the Warriors. It was a playoff-like atmosphere, and neither team could seize control. The Grizzlies relied heavily on points in the paint. They scored 30 first-half points inside the restricted area. In the 3rd quarter, Klay Thompson became the embodiment of “Splash”. Thompson scored the 1st 10 points for the Dubs. Matt Barnes joined the fun with 10 points as he looks even more valuable as Durant nears his return. Mike Conley would refuse to let the Grizzlies go quietly. Down (74-81) with under 1:30 left in the 3rd he helped tie the game up at 81. Golden State made their push towards victory in the final quarter. It started with defense where they held Memphis to just 13 points. Curry pushed the game out of reach with 8 points in the final frame. The Warriors wound up winning by the final score of 106-94. Klay Thompson was spectacular, and the Warriors drained 17 three-pointers on the night. The Quest for the number 1 seed got off to a great start for the Dubs. Up next Golden State continues their quest in Texas against the Rockets. Make sure to tune into KSRO for the next installment of Warrior’s basketball.

Stars of the Night: Thompson 31 points, 7 of 11 on three’s, 21 2nd half points. Iguodala 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. Curry 21 points, 5 three’s, and 11 assists. Mike Conley (Memphis) 29 points and 6 assists.



The Bigger Warriors Story of the Night: Steph Curry fan Isaiah Simpson

Black New Yorkers React To White Terrorist

Only in America! I have to believe that only in America can an individual commit a premeditated racist attack in hopes of spreading terror in white women and black men, and have it called anything but Terrorism.

Terror came to New York City this past week in the form of a white American racist bent on killing African-American men. James Harris Jackson of Maryland arrived in New York City and stalked potential African-American victims before unleashing his terror on 66 yr old Timothy Caughman. The terrorist weapon of choice was a 26 inch mini-sword that resembles a military bayonet.

What New Yorkers are finding disturbing, and well they should, is that the attack and attacker were quickly labeled white supremacist as opposed to terrorist.  They're wondering how a 2014 killer of two cops could be called a terrorist and James Harris Jackson not be labelled the same by the media. Could it be because cop killer Ismaaiy Brinsley was a black man from Brooklyn with Islamic faith leanings?

Attacker James Harris Jackson admitted afterward to police his plans and purpose for coming to New York City and killing a black man; to stop white women from entering into relationships with black men. He also said his attack on Caughman "was practice" for a larger attack against black men in Times Square.

This was not a "Dry Run," but a successful act of violence to create terror and fear in particular races of men and women. Jackson seems not to consider himself supreme over black men, but rather angry with white women for inter-relating with black men. The killing of black men appears to be just a means to an end for this attacker. Seems a bit twisted and complicated. I'm sure that in Jackson's diseased mind, it is.

We continue to see Americans commit crimes of terror and hatred here on American soil. Regardless of who it is and why they choose to terrorize and kill Americans, our media must be unbiased and consistent in their reportage of such incidents. If news media cannot do so, then they're as much a part of the Black Lives and Immigrants not mattering perception as any.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Gift of Verse


For my Grandson on his 18th birthday. May you someday find comfort in reading these few lines with understanding, knowing the wise message of being one's own man to be so.


Character of a Happy Life
by Sir Henry Wotton

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death;
Untied unto the world by care
Of public fame, or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Nor vice; Who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make oppressors great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of His grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a religious book or friend;

----This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai --- Victorious --- Over Chocolatito


 BOXING

In his first loss ever, super flyweight titlist Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez was as courageous as ever. Against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, a challenger from Muay Thai country (Thailand), a bruised and bloodied Chocolatito battled to what I personally thought was a draw if not a win.  Seemed Sor Rungvaisai was never really hurt by Chocolatito and fought a solid fight. The Thai boxer put Gonzalez down in the first round with a shot to the body. Chocolatito needed all his ring skills and toughness to stay in there with Rungvaisai, who seemed bigger and stronger.

The 12th round might go down as one of the best of this seasons' boxing rounds. The two tired fighters exchanged blows with wicked abandon, but neither could stun, stagger or knockdown the other. The fight had action all the way through. The blows weren't always noticeable, but the work these two fighters put into the fight was definitely championship caliber.

Congratulations to new Champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for showing up and delivering a fierce Ong-Bak like challenge to one of the best fighters in boxing today. Thailand should be proud of their champion. I hope to see a rematch.


As for the main event: Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Jacobs. Sorry Triple-G, but you did not win that fight.

Jacobs brought it to Golovkin all night and Triple-G didn't seem to have an answer for his power and speed.

But for the knockdown that I thought was more an off balance mow-down, the fight seemed even with no clear winner or loser. But judges do what they do after such battles and Triple-G retained his WBC welterweight belt. As Jacobs stated afterwards, Triple-G has the bigger name brand and I guess the buildup to Golovkin vs Canelo Alverez supersedes Daniel Jacobs; or something like that. Either way, Jacobs, who wasn't expected to go the distance, has solidified himself as a legitimate championship-caliber boxer and he just might've exposed to other challengers weaknesses we once thought unthinkable in Triple-G's style.



Friday, March 17, 2017

Beast Mode or AP

It's a dilemma I'll definitely take this time of year for the Raiders. If the rumors are true, we could see either Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch suiting up in silver and black this upcoming NFL season. With RB Latavius Murray running off to Minnesota, we're in need of a big, bruising back to fill the void.  AP has been injury prone and turns 32 this month. Lynch will be 31 next month and hasn't played in one full season. The big difference here is injury vs retirement. Factor in the Oakland native kibbit and Lynch is your Raiders starting running back in 2017 hands down.

I've begged, pleaded and prayed on this blog in the past for game-change caliber players to come over to the NFL's dark side that is the Raiders organization. Maybe this time my plea will pay off. Never has there been such an explosive local football player available to join an already playoff caliber Raiders team. Other than maybe getting bay area native Tom Brady as a backup to Derek Carr, the Lynch signing would be a bay area bonanza.

So without further ado, BEAST MODE----------------this prayer and plea is for YOU!





Morning Marshawn, This Is God Calling!

You may not find this letter of spiritual advice immaculate, but if you have faith you’ll understand and receive the blessing.  It’s about more than just a football career; it’s about seeing the gifts of your life unfold in ways you never imagined.  I know, I’ve had my eye on you Marshawn.  You have so much to offer in so many ways, but like many, there’s been some doubt and many distractions along the way.   

The road of life I made crooked and challenging for reasons only I know.  What I’d like you to believe is that every bump, curve and detour placed along your path was put there for your best interest, just as the times your life seemed to be in cruise control, it was I removing some of those worries and burdens.  It’s been like that for you since April 22, 1986 and will continue through all your days.  For I am always with you.

As an adult I must remind you of the Free Will you’ve been blessed with, which allows you to choose what path to take and team to join.  Mind you, your choice will not change what I’ve willed for you, but it will determine the type of experiences you encounter traveling toward your destiny. Either way, by your will or mine, I will be right there with you as I’ve always been.  I write to you in this, your 31st year of life, to give you this special birthday gift, though you might see it as more of a puzzle than a blessing. 

You are not who you think yourself to be. Know Thyself!

You, my faithful servant, at heart are a Raider.  Go West and discover those treasures awaiting you.  Pledge to choose a path based on your soulful needs over financial desires, trusting that I am always with you.  What might at first seem unwise and foolish to agents and those who’ve profited by blessed talents bestowed on you, will be revealed as the link to your fulfillment as a man in touch with his destiny.  The gleam of life, which you’ll surely discover in this new journey, will eventually become evident to those who might’ve doubted, including yourself. 

Again, be mindful and watchful of distracting forces.  This time, choose not only with the hungry head, but practice using the other decision-making instrument of which I’ve blessed you with; a humble heart. Do not be deceived, for a humble heart sees what a hungry head is sometimes too full to discern.

Oakland, California needs you my servant, as much as you need Oaktown.  Seek not what you’ve found in Seattle.  Go where you can feel my Pacific waters calming the summer air around you at night.  Go experience the California sunshine splashing down reminding you of my presence before, during and after the dark, threatening storm.  Awake to the winds of autumn blustering in from sea, greeting you to a new day in My blessed bay. A place where past transgressions are forgiven and no stone be cast should new ones arise.

"Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you.” In giving of yourself you will surely receive tenfold.
For I promise this and more to all those of faith.  I Am always with you Marshawn.  And win, lose or tie, I Am a Raider!

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Gift of Artist Julia Cairns



Artist/Illustrator Julia Cairns has an exceptional gift when it comes to reanimating images of life. This painting of a horse standing so elegantly in what looks to me like a mythical childhood garden, is alive with life vibrations. You have a blend of basic earthy colors with dashes and highlights of pastel blues, browns, yellows and reds. It sure makes for one elegant looking horse. 

Look at it long enough and you'll see the horse rock its head up and down with a snort while swatting its tail at some flyby insect. It's as if he/she is waiting for us to join in the picture and begin stroking its body with a brush. Wait a minute, I think it just called out my name!

The horse beckons us to return to our childhood imaginations if only for a moment, to see and feel the magic and wonder of life reflected in art through innocent eyes once again. What's the old biblical saying, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

And the added beauty of seeing not a thread of horse tack (saddles, bridles, bits, halters, reins, harnesses, etc...) gives the animal a freedom in paradise charm that is heavenly.

I stumbled across the art of Julia Cairns many years ago and am proud to have one of her prints, "To The River," hanging in my home. You can read more about Ms. Cairns at her website:

http://juliacairns.fineartstudioonline.com/about


Thursday, March 02, 2017

Harry Emerson Fosdick on Faith

"A book on faith has been for years my hope and intention. And now it comes to final form during the most terrific war men ever waged, when faith is sorely tried and deeply needed."
(The first lines in his preface to the book)


The Meaning of Faith
by Harry Emerson Fosdick
1917

When faith in God goes, man the mortal loses his only hope.

Man's nature, like a lighthouse, combines two elements. At the foundation of the beacon all is stone; as one lifts his eyes all is stone still; but at the top is something new and wonderful. It is the thing for which the rock was piled. Its laws are not the laws of stone nor are its ways the same. For while the stolid rock stands fast, this miracle of light with speed incredible hurls itself out across the sea. Two worlds are here, the one cold and stationary, the other full of the marvel and mystery of fire. So man has in him a miracle which he cannot explain; he "feels that he is greater than he knows"; and he never has been able to believe that the mystery of spirit was given him in vain, had no reality from which it came, and no future beyond death.

The finest thing ever said of Columbus is a remark of his own countryman, "The instinct of an unknown continent burned in him." That is the secret of Columbus' greatness. All the arguments by which he attempted to convince doubters were but afterthoughts of this; all the labors by which he endeavored to make good his hopes were but its consequence. And if we ask of man why so universally he has believed in life to come, the answer leaps not superficially from the mind, but out of the basic intuitions of man's life. We know that something is now ours which ought not to die; the instinct of an unknown continent burns in us. But all hopes, the motives, the horizons that immortality has given man must go, if faith in God departs. In a godless world man dies forever.

One, therefore, who is facing loss of faith may not regard it as a light affair. To be sure, some denials of religion, even a Christian must respect.

But some discard religion from their life's adventure with no such serious understanding of the import of their denial. They are pert disbelievers. They toss faith facilely aside in a light mood. Such frivolous sceptics indict their own intelligence. Whoever discards religious faith should appoint a day of mourning for his soul and put on a sackcloth and ashes. He must take from his life the greatest thought that man the thinker ever had, the finest faith that the sinner ever found, the strongest reliance that man the sufferer ever trusted in, the loftiest vision that man the lover ever saw, and the only hope that man the mortal ever had. So he must deny his faith in God. Before one thus leaves himself bereft of the faith that makes life's adventure most worth while he well may do what Carlyle, under the figure of Teufelsdrockh, says that he did in his time of doubt: "In the silent night-watches, still darker in his heart than over sky and earth, he has cast himself before the All-seeing, and with audible prayers cried vehemently for Light."

Pgs 21-22


In memoriam to his mother:
’Tis human fortune’s happiest height to be
A spirit melodious, lucid, poised, and whole;
Second in order of felicity
to have walk’d with such a soul.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Warriors To Watch On All-Star Weekend



And there you have it, the NBA will showcase four All-Stars from the Bay Area's Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, we won't see the Warriors fifth potential all-star because of a shoulder injury that's still not fully healed. 

Zaza Pachulia, aka "The Zaz" will not be participating in this weekend's All-Star activities. There's something about Zaza that brings out the commoner in all of us. It would've been nice to see five Warriors players with their coach Steve Kerr holding court for the Western All-Stars, but that old 80's "greed is good" motto went bye-bye with the wall street scandals that rocked the era.

Remember wall street stock broker Ivan Boesky before serving time for illegal insider trading?:

"I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself."

Well, we Warriors fans feel good and can live with four of our guys deservedly representing the West. As for Zaza, I hear that Las Vegas has laid odds on the Georgian favorite son perhaps appearing in a beer commercial.

It could happen!




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Books Not Bombs


"Trump is the perfect modern American. He's a human consumption machine with no attention span, no self-control, no beliefs and no hobbies outside of sex, spending, eating and talking about himself." 


Above is an excerpt from author/journalist Matt Taibbi's RollingStone article discussing his new book "Insane Clown President." The criticizing excerpt says as much about the new American president as it does about American behavior in general. Perhaps our current political situation is simply a lesson in 'be careful what you wish for' wisdom. 


This is not a title on my book wish list, nor would I think to insult the reputation of clowns who are still struggling from blights to their image from the recent clown attack hysteria.

What this book cover and it's subject matter should do is make Americans pause and take a good long look at themselves in the mirror.  We can't always control the ugly politics of our country, but we can pause long enough to put our own ugliness in check.

It's a shame that the famed Ringling Bros. Circus is closing down after over 100 years in operation. Let us pray that it won't be replaced by this insane high-wire balancing act that's generating daily dispatches from Washington D.C.

Books Not Bombs Campaign - Support Syrian Students

Monday, February 06, 2017

Call It The "Super Stowl"

How else to explain the unprecedented Super Bowl comeback victory by the most cheating franchise in the NFL. America awoke this morning as if they'd re-lived the 2016 Presidential Election all over again.


Polls Don't Lie, Do They?


The Atlanta Falcons, led by NFL MVP Matt Ryan, dominated the first half of Super Bowl LI by outscoring the opponent 21-3. They scored by running, passing and a defensive pick six that up to that point was the highlight of the game. The Falcons looked the part of an NFL team that's hungry, balanced and confident in their game plan. 

By the time the Lady Gaga halftime show began, football fans worldwide were laughing and lolling around as if they'd seen the best of Super Bowl LI, with the better team doing what it was supposed to do.  

Then came the second half where unlike most teams playing against the cheater prone opponent, the Atlanta Falcons continued their dominance. They had an 8 play, 85 yard, 4:14 touchdown drive that put them up 28-3. Then it seemed like the offense and defense could join in with the rest of the football world to enjoy a laugher game.  

Only problem was that they forgot just who their opponent was; the cheating-est NFL team in the modern era of professional football. To the surprise of the fans, media and the coaches and players on both sides, the Atlanta Falcons did not score another point as that unethical organization people love to hate made the world go "Gaga." 

Someday an investigative committee reviewing this game might reveal how the habitually prone cheaters Stowl this Bowl. 

ga·ga
ˈɡäˌɡä/
adjective
informal
  1. no longer in possession of all one's mental faculties, especially on account of old age.

    "I want to write my memoirs before I go too gaga"
    • very enthusiastic and excited about someone or something.

      "moviegoers went gaga over Harry Potter"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Relax America, Putin is Gonna Make Everything Okay!



I haven't had a Saturday Night Live skit bring me to tears with laughter and horror since Tina Fey's rendition of Sarah you know who.  But that was before Alec Baldwin and company began showcasing their skills with mimicking Trump and Putin.  Theirs is what comedy skit acting is supposed to be; comic with a truthfulness that makes it better to laugh along with than to cry from the pain of it's reality.

Great job SNL. It's only been a few days since the Presidential inauguration and already you're breaking internet and cable viewer records with your political satire.  Or did the network give "alternative facts" about it's Nielsen ratings?

I suppose SNL will have enough White House material available to them in the coming 4 years to keep the show's viewer ratings skyrocketing long after this Presidential Apprentice has served his allotted time or is "Fired."




Sunday, January 22, 2017

It's Brady & Belichik One More Time

Yep, with Patriots QB Tom Brady just completing a touchdown pass with 1:35 left in the 3rd quarter to make the score 33-9, the fate of the Super Bowl is sealed.  It will be the Atlanta Falcons vs the New England Patriots in this year's Big Show.

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost their starting running back Le'veon Bell early to a groin injury, but it was their zone defense that Tom Brady just picked apart like a medical cadaver. Patriots WR Chris Hogan has 180 receiving yards in three quarters. Even without the Gronk, the Patriots at home in the playoffs are still one tough nut to crack.

At least the Falcons won't have to factor in location of the big game; the Super Bowl is in Houston, Texas. But they should be mindful of past Patriots "Alternative Facts"(lies) testimony, explaining their methods of studying film footage of opponents prior to big games.




Falcons Await AFC Champ

The Green Bay Packers never seemed to have a chance. With a 24-0 halftime score, it began to feel like Atlanta QB Matt Ryan and the Falcons were scrimmaging for a league championship. And to think that without Packers QB Aaron Rodger's heroics last week, the Falcons could've been on the road facing the Dallas Cowboys who had the best record in the league. And that's why they play the games.

The Atlanta Falcons are heading to the Super Bowl.

If you can remember RB Jamal Anderson and the 1998 "Dirty Birds," then you'll appreciate the Falcons return to the Big Show. I know the city of Atlanta is glowing bright as a Georgia Peach with their NFL team putting them back into the national spotlight.

Good job ATL, good job!

3:00 left in 4th QTR 
Packers 21
Falcons 44

Birth of a Nation

It's never too late to educate one's self on history. I watched the movie "Birth of a Nation" the other night and the seeds of it's terror and violence stayed with me longer than most movies depicting violence.

As a man who loves learning about historical times, I've seen and heard much of it all before. But this movie, which I can't say had the best writing or acting of movies like it, got it's message across expertly. Here's my Amazon review for "Birth of a Nation" and why I think it important for today's movie audiences from all nations to watch.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not Just Another Slavery Movie

Some might say, "here we go again, another slavery movie." After watching "Birth of a Nation" they might reclassify slavery movies as "another American terrorism movie."  The movie is as much about the antebellum south's many ways of terrorizing slaves as it is about slaves rebelling against such tyranny. It's made clear in the movie that instilling slaves with the terror of white violence toward them is the means by which the plantation owners chose to maintain control and elicit the most profit and pleasure out of their slaves' labors. Not to mention also as a way to bolster and justify white supremacist ideology.

The methods of terror inflicted on slaves in this movie are not new.  We've seen whippings, rapes, intimidated children and such in other movies. What's new here is the making of a rebel against the system of slavery at the hands of the oppressor. This story of Nat Turner gives a sad twist that many might not have heard of before. The fact that Nat's gift of preaching from the good book is used to not so much ease the slave's physical pain and bring peace to one's weary soul, but is used instead to reinforce the terror and fear of the slave master's vengeance should one displease him, is the crime that comes home to roost in this story. It's a scary parable that we see repeated today in the terror headlining the middle east. Whether it be cotton or oil, there's a price to pay for choosing prejudice and profit over humanity.

For those of us who continue to recognize the seeds of terror by the fruits they produce, this movie adds to one's understanding of where the roots of evil lie.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Toyota Prius Braking System Still Failing




A Consumer Reports:

As driver of a 2010 Toyota Prius I find it my duty as a concerned consumer to report a dangerous feature. Applying the brakes while the vehicle is traveling over a pothole, bump or bumpy and slippery road can cause an accelerating sensation and temporary loss of control of the vehicle. I say "accelerating sensation" because that's what it feels like, when in actuality the brakes are failing.

When I first reported this to the Toyota dealership they had me ride with one of their mechanics to demonstrate/duplicate the problem. The mechanic driving was unable and/or unwilling to verify the problem. Granted, we both had a hard time duplicating the braking issue since the roads near the dealership were newly blacktopped and in mint condition.  

With me driving we drove to an older blacktopped area and while braking on a hill I noticed the accelerating sensation, not as abrupt as usual, before the brakes kicked in. I immediately informed the mechanic and he said he didn't notice a thing. My girlfriend has also experienced the acceleration sensation when driving over bumps, but never has a passenger noticed it.

The mechanic did explain about a Toyota recall where the brakes were releasing over bumps and causing the sensation of acceleration, but he said the recall didn't apply to my vehicle because it already had the software upgrade. It was the first time I'd heard of this Toyota problem and the first time anyone at Toyota mentioned a brake recall and/or software upgrade for braking.

When the mechanic and I got back to the dealership I asked the service advisor about the recall and he confirmed there'd been a brake recall, but repeated the mechanic's words verbatim that the recall didn't apply to my vehicle because it already had a software upgrade. 

I left the dealership feeling like Toyota was covering up for a brake defect in my vehicle. I couldn't fully blame the mechanic for not noticing the mild acceleration I noticed while driving with him in the passenger seat. I did find it very odd that both Toyota employees knew about the brake recall and the software upgrade to address it, yet neither mentioned it to me until after we'd test driven the vehicle. When I voiced my concern of their reluctance to divulge such critical performance information about Toyota's brake recall the service advisor apologized, then gave his reason as not wanting to mislead or misinform customers prior to testing the vehicle. 

Forward 2-3 years as I bring my same Toyota Prius in to the same Toyota dealership location for a scheduled performance service. I bring up my concerns about the continued braking issue and fill in the service advisor about the prior visit where the Toyota mechanic's test drive result was inconclusive. The service advisor agreed to have the mechanic take a look at the braking system.

After servicing the vehicle the mechanic and service advisor met with me and explained the brakes were fine. I told him how I understood it wasn't the vehicle accelerating but the brakes releasing when I apply the brake peddle while going over a bump(s). The mechanic stated that's exactly how the brakes are designed to perform. He said that anti-lock brakes, such as the ones installed in my Toyota Prius, are designed to temporarily release when the vehicle goes over bumps. 

When I told them of the danger and helplessness a driver experiences during that "temporary" loss of vehicle stoppage the mechanic said I shouldn't drive so close to other vehicles and began admonishing all drivers who tailgate. I turned to the service advisor with a look of "is he serious?" on my face. The advisor was as still, pale and silent as a porcelain statue. I turned back to the mechanic saying adamantly that I do not tailgate and that safety while driving is part of my job training and responsibility. 

Then I asked him point blank if I could get him in front of a judge, any judge, to say exactly what he'd just so boldly stated. You could hear a pin drop. Finally, I could do nothing but laugh and pat the mechanic on the back. This poor heavily accented guy was obviously foreign born and was just doing his job and probably towing the company line. The slick service advisor, with the touch of a used car salesman, eased the conversation toward other service checklist completions made by the mechanic and nothing more was mentioned about Toyota's braking system. 

Since that last, most recent Toyota maintenance service experience I've found alarming online information about the Toyota Braking Issue on my 2010 Prius models. Wouldn't hurt for consumers to get an understanding about Toyota's regenerative braking systems as well.

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So my advice to Toyota customers is do not depend on Toyota to educate or inform you about the safety, or lack thereof, of your vehicle. Get outside advice about Toyota recalls and if need be get a good Lawyer. And remember, tailgating is a driving safety hazard. 

Once I got home and completely looked over the Toyota customer service receipt showing all the maintenance performed during the visit, I noticed a page describing the replacement of Curtain Shield Airbag Brackets. Under the heading for CAUSE, was the description: Open Safety Recall.

I called back the service advisor and after what felt like pulling teeth, with him dodging and dancing around the reason for bracket replacement, he admitted that replacing the brackets were due to a recall. I figure maybe he's a summertime auto salesman coming in from the cold of winter to work the service desk. Why else would a Toyota service advisor not advise a customer about product safety recall maintenance just performed on his/her vehicle? 

And if all that wasn't interesting enough, what triggered taking my 2010 Prius in for servicing in the first place was finding the oil dipstick almost completely dry. The Toyota mechanic confirmed finding no oil on the dipstick. The mechanic advised keeping an eye on the oil level moving forward for the next few months, nothing more. After the service visit I went online and found a class action lawsuit against Toyota for guess what? an excessive oil consumption defect!  Don't believe me, check this lawsuit verbiage:


This action arises from Defendants’ failure, despite their longstanding knowledge of a material design defect, to disclose to Plaintiffs and other consumers that the Class Vehicles are predisposed to an excessively high rate of engine oil consumption (the “Oil Consumption Defect”). This defect – which typically manifests itself during and shortly after the limited warranty period has expired will inevitably cause the Class Vehicles to prematurely burn off and/or consume abnormal and excessive amounts of engine oil.

The existence of the Oil Consumption Defect poses a safety risk to the operator and passengers of the vehicle because it prevents the engine from maintaining the proper level of engine oil, and causes an excessive amount of engine oil consumption that can neither be reasonably anticipated nor predicted. Further, the Oil Consumption Defect can cause engine failure while the Class Vehicles are in operation at any time and under any driving condition or speed. This exposes the driver and occupants of the Class Vehicles, as well as others who share the road with them, to an increased risk of accident, injury, or death. As discussed further herein, numerous owners and lessees of the Class Vehicles have experienced engine damage and catastrophic failure while operating the Class Vehicle, thus placing themselves and those around them in immediate danger.


As alleged, Toyota has long been aware of the Oil Consumption Defect yet has routinely refused to repair the Class Vehicles without charge when the defect manifests.


Articles:

Toyota Recalls Prius models to update software

Toyota Engine Excessive Oil Consumption 

OIL CONSUMPTION DEFECT  - Class Action Lawsuit Against Toyota 

Excessive Oil Consumption Customer Complaints

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rodgers Can R-E-L-A-X After Win In Big D'!

Yeah, you knew this one wasn't going to be easy for either team. The Green Bay Packers opened up on the Cowboys with a 21-3 lead midway through the 2nd quarter of an NFC Divisional Playoff game in Dallas. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was mister terrific as he ran that offense like a magician, knowing all the hidden compartments and trap doors to escape through. 

Then the Cowboys with QB Dak Prescott caught fire and the momentum swung back and forth until the teams found themselves tied 28-28 with 4:08 left in the game. 

The game was now in the hands of clutch play-makers and field goal kickers. Check out video highlights to see what words just don't do justice describing. It was the best game of the seasons' NFL playoffs to date.


FG
1:38
Mason Crosby Made 56 Yrd Field Goal
8 plays, 37 yards, 2:35
3128
FG
0:44
Dan Bailey Made 52 Yrd Field Goal
6 plays, 42 yards, 0:58
3131
FG
0:03
Mason Crosby Made 51 Yrd Field Goal
6 plays, 43 yards, 0:35
3431



(Credit: AP / LM Otero)
Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby (2) watches his 51-yard field goal to win the game as time expires during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in Arlington, Texas. The Packers won 34-31.


Congratulations Green Bay Packers and good luck in Atlanta against the Falcons next week.

Packers 34
Cowboys 31

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Kyung Wha-Chung - Legendary!








Epic Clashes; we see it in sports, theatre and music. The more challenging the feat or adversary, the greater the will to conquer.


World renowned violinist Kyung Wha-Chung attacks a Mendelssohn Concerto like a professional football player would attack an opponent; tenaciously and with abandon. 





Watch as Kyung not only plays with unequaled passion, but also shows a graceful touch and effortless control over a technically challenging classical piece. 

This clip is from Kyung's earlier playing days in the 1970's. I don't know if any violinist who followed has matched her riveting skill and performance level. Kyung is a legendary violinist whose past performances are even more appreciated through hindsight.  She's still performing at age 68, and is a current member of the Julliard School Faculty.


Sports fans should be able to recognize the competitive power and impassioned style of this world class violinist. She's Serena Williams with a violin instead of a tennis racquet. But for her gender, size and chosen craft of music, she might've been a #1 draft pick in the NFL had she chosen athletics; that's how much skill, passion, energy and confidence she has in her game.


Kyung Wha-Chung; A Raider legend



Kyung Wha-Chung articles of interest:

Monday, January 09, 2017

All-Star Zaza Eases The Pain


I've gotten better getting over a Raiders loss. It helps to have the Golden State Warriors as your local NBA basketball team to help transition from football to basketball. Though there's many Raiders highlights to enjoy from the 2016 football season, the heartbreak of seeing #4 go down with a broken leg makes it very hard to look back. And so we press onward to cheer and root for another potential Bay Area sports champion.

In last night's game in Sacramento, surprise All-star vote candidate Zaza Pachulia, showed the NBA exactly why his fellow countrymen feel he's deserving of an All-star weekend appearance. 

The NBA modified its All-Star voting rules this year because of Pachulia, who received an inordinate number of votes last year from fans in his home country of Georgia.

The stone faced fellow from Tbilisi, Georgia, where legend has it the area was named for it's sulfuric hot springs, was a volcanic force on the basketball court last night with his harassing defense, scoring, assists and lock-down play on Sacramento Kings All-star center DeMarcus Cousins.

Zaza has stepped up his game to become another integral part of this elite Warriors team of high powered offense with suffocating defense. Earlier in the season, with Zaza replacing former Warriors center Andrew Bogut, the Georgian seemed out of place and awkward looking among his fast-paced teammates. Where new forward Kevin Durant fit as comfortably as Cinderella's slipper, Zaza needed a shoe-horn to wedge his 6'11 frame into the Warriors gameplan. 

I suppose we can throw away the shoe-horn now, because it seems Zaza has forced the Warriors to expand the width of their gameplan to the point where no forcing is needed to fit him in. His basketball smarts make-up for any athleticism he may lack. In just a few short weeks he's made us Warriors fans sit up and take notice.

Many experts will say that #27 Zaza Pachulia, a 14 year NBA veteran approaching the age of JC at crucifixion (33), is not an All-star caliber player and is lucky to be playing with All-stars on an elite NBA team. But Warriors fans and basketball fans from the country of Georgia see it as the Warriors who are the lucky ones to have a seasoned center who can pass, defend, score and run with the rest of the team at a high skill level. 

Maybe his no-look, over the head pass to Steph Curry last night will have the basketball experts taking another look at the big man from hot springs country. Or maybe his stats from last night, which could stand toe-to-toe with those of Sacramento Kings All-star DeMarcus Cousins, will make believers of those doubting the Zaza factor. 



Sooner or later, time reveals the hidden values in peoples, places and things. It appears that Zaza Pachulia's place and time in the NBA has come and some truths about his basketball game are about to be revealed. 

We Believe In Zaza!


Final Score
Warriors 117
Kings 106


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Raiders Go Down In Houston

Nothing could save the Raiders from themselves in a 27-14 wild-card playoff game loss to the Houston Texans. It wasn't too much Texans as much as it was too little Raiders. The silver and black were simply missing too many key components in their arsenal, most of all QB Derek Carr, to launch any sustaining attack offensively and/or defensively.

You saw flashes of the 2016 Raiders competitiveness that got them to the playoffs, but the day belonged to a Texans team that came out and played a better game start to finish. Nothing to be embarrassed about Raider Nation, we suited up a team that just couldn't get it done. period. 

On the plus side, this will be one of the most anticipated off seasons for the Raiders. GM Reggie McKenzie should have pro bowl caliber free agents lining up wanting to play for coach Del Rio and the resurgent Oakland Raiders. We have this Oakland Raiders winning season to thank for it.

Great players wanna be part of something great and there's no denying that great things are happening with the Raiders. The proof is in the 12-4 record, its in the never quit comeback culture, its in the willingness to win against all odds, it's in the respect given by their opponents. 

The Oakland Raiders are Back! 
Don't miss next season. Can't Wait! it's gonna be Super!



Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Rookie QB Connor Cook Gets Playoff Start

#8 Connor Cook to quarterback Raiders in playoffs


And there you have it Raider Nation. Our first playoff game in 14 frick'in seasons and we're going into it on the road with a Rookie at the helm starting in his first NFL game. Not to knock or jinx the rook, but the odds are simply not in his favor to lead the Silver and Black to victory on the road in Houston this wild card weekend. 

Maybe with a better defense they could eek out a win without having to score lots of points. But the opposing Texans defense, ranked #1 overall, will see the young QB as a freshly unwrapped tasty treat and will be trying to eat him alive. Welcome to the Hunger Games Connor.

Unless the team as a whole steps up their game and maintains the intensity for 60 minutes, I don't see the Raiders moving on to the divisional round of the playoffs. 

But this is the playoffs and unpredictable Shite Happens on this grand stage of sports. I mean look, the frick'in Cubs just won the World Series. Da' Cubs for chrisssake! Down 3 games to 1. Down 6-7 on the road going into the top of the ninth inning of game 7. The frick'in Cubs, with a bad-news-bears history unparalleled in professional sports, never quit and pulled off a miraculous championship victory.

I will be watching and supporting Connor and the Raiders come kickoff Saturday afternoon. I'll wear my silver and black colors proudly, knowing and showing 49er and other fans just how far we've come. What I won't be doing is talking myself into believing that Connor is the coming of the next Pro quarterback messiah and will lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl this season. Dreaming it maybe, but not talking it.

It's been a great season of rediscovery and return to greatness for the Raiders. Win, lose or tie, the next game will not define all that's been accomplished to get them to a 12-4 regular season record. The Oakland Raiders are back!